Your feet and ankles are home to about a fourth of all of your bones as well as numerous muscles, tendons and nerves. Each component of your feet and ankles works together to support your body and help you move comfortably throughout the day, but because they are used so heavily by most of us, they are also highly prone to injury.
Common Foot and Ankle Injuries
Foot and ankle injuries can run the gamut from sports-related injuries to fall injuries. Overuse injuries are also common in feet and ankles and occur as a result of repetitive movements, such as side-to-side steps or jumps. Regardless of what caused them, foot and ankle injuries can cause pain and dysfunction, and if not treated, they can lead to long-term disability.
Some of the most common foot and ankle injuries include:
- Sprained ankle, which affects the ligaments
- Strained ankle, which affects the muscles or tendons
- Achilles tendon rupture and tendonitis
- Metatarsalgia, an overuse injury that causes pain in the ball of the foot
- Morton’s neuroma, which is an overuse injury caused by running or wearing high heels regularly
- Stress fractures, such as shin splints
- Pinched nerves
Degenerative conditions such as arthritis can also lead to pain and dysfunction in the feet and ankles.
You may be at a higher than average risk of a foot or ankle injury if you have a history of such injuries, are over 50 or are on your feet frequently. Athletes are at a particularly high risk of ankle and foot injuries, especially if they fail to warm up adequately.
Caring for your Feet and Ankles
Using good form during workouts, warming up properly before exercise or athletic events, and wearing supportive shoes can all help reduce your risk of feet and ankle injuries. Unfortunately, not all injuries are preventable. When you do suffer an injury or have unexplained pain, you need an evaluation.
Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates can evaluate your symptoms and recommend a specific treatment program that will help you get back on your feet as soon as possible. At-home care, rest, physical therapy and surgery can all be used to restore your foot and ankle health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.